Golf is an entertaining way to spend the afternoon, but it can be an expensive hobby. You've got everything from golf shoes and clubs to the cost of renting a golf cart or the price of club memberships. Still, whether you're playing alone or spending the afternoon with friends, how can you play golf without breaking the bank?

Buy Your Supplies Off-Season

Summer and fall are prime golfing seasons because the weather is nice and, in northern climates, you don't have to worry about losing your ball in a snowdrift. If you're buying new supplies, making your purchases during this prime season will end up costing you more. Instead, save your expensive purchase for off-season times like spring, winter or around the holidays, when companies are dropping their prices to play.

Skip the Weekends

Planning your golf games for weekdays can sometimes net you some serious savings. Most golfers tend to schedule their games for the prime weekend hours, meaning the course will be crowded and the clubhouse can charge a premium. During the week when everyone is at work, they're often struggling to bring people in and may offer some discounts that make your game a little more cost-effective.

Build Your Own Golf Clubs

One of the biggest expenses with a golf hobby is the clubs. If you can get your hands on a set for free, that's ideal. But a free or hand-me-down set might not suit your swing or play style. Instead of spending a ton of money on a full set, one way to save money is to build your own.

We're not talking about assembling a set of complete clubs by buying a putter here or a 3-iron there. We're talking about putting together each club from scratch, from the shaft and grips to the heads, weights, and ferrules. This gives you the tools to make your own custom set of clubs without breaking the bank. It isn't as cheap as getting a free set, but it's one of the most cost-effective options.

Start Later in the Day

You might want to skip this tip if you live somewhere that experiences high temperatures during the afternoons. However, just like skipping weekend tee-times, if you skip morning tee-times, you may find yourself paying quite a bit less. Some clubs offer discounts for people who choose an afternoon tee-time. It's the same course and the same experience - you're just starting later in the day.

Cut Down on Extra Expenses

There are a lot of things that you can end up spending extra money on during your morning or afternoon golfing excursions. Things like buying lunch at the club or bottled water while you're on the course can add up quickly. Instead of spending money on extraneous stuff, pack your lunch. Carry an insulated water bottle and fill it up at the clubhouse.

Don't buy into all the extra stuff that they sell at the clubhouse's pro shop. Cut down all your extra expenses to make your tee-time more affordable.

Enjoy the Game

Golf can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Be smart about your purchases, try to schedule your games in off-peak hours and assemble your own golf clubs to cut a few corners and save a few bucks this season.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington